8 Ways to Incorporate Florals into Your Home Decor Without Using Flowers

All this month, we’ve been talking about flowers and how to arrange beautiful grocery store bought flowers (or silk flowers) just like a professional florist.  But, I know some of you have expressed that buying real flowers (or even some silk ones) can get very costly, which is true.  I usually buy a bouquet of fresh flowers once a week, when I do my grocery shopping.  That can get costly!  So, I thought I’d share some other ideas on how you can incorporate florals into your home, and obviously get more bang for your buck as these décor options aren’t going anywhere.

Floral Wallpaper

I’m currently on the hunt for wallpaper, and one thing that I noticed is that floral wallpaper has no intentions of going out of style.  Even better, some designers have opted in creating a new trend – large scale floral wallpaper.  I like these much better, than the smaller scaled floral wallpapers because they are much more dramatic, becoming the focal point in the room.  They look like beautiful murals, once completed.

 

Floral Upholstery

You can also use floral fabric to bring blooms into your home.  I bought these beautiful floral chinoiserie pillows from Tonic Living. But, you don’t have to stick to pillows! You can upholster a headboard, for example, with a beautiful floral print, to give your room that pop.

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Floral Stencils

If you’d like to go with something a little less permanent than wallpaper or upholstery, try stenciling.  Royal Design Studio Stencils and Cutting Edge Stencils have great stenciling options, including these floral damask patterns.  If you ever get tired of your stenciled blooms, simply paint over them.

 

Floral Scented Candles

Nothing screams, flowers than a lightly scented floral candle.  I sometimes will burn a floral scented candle, and a light linen or fresh laundry scented candle so that the floral scent isn’t too overpowering in the space.

 

Floral Art Prints

This is another option for those of us who don’t want huge (or small) flowers plastered all over the walls.  I love this botanical diagram print from McGee & Co.  Once again, the large scale floral becomes the beautiful focal point, drawing your eyes to the print.

Source:  McGee & Co.

Source: McGee & Co.

 

Floral Dinner Plates

A common Spring theme is incorporating floral dinnerware into your home for seasonal celebrations like Easter and Mother’s Day. Here are some beautiful floral dinnerware options that I’m currently obsessing over.

 

Floral Decor Accents

 

Floral Lighting

Floral lighting is in and it is quite whimsical. West Elm, Potter Barn and Horchow have some great options!

 
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DIY on a Dime: How to Arrange Your Spring Flowers Like a Pro

If you haven’t noticed by now, I enjoy having both silk and fresh flowers in my home.  It’s a habit I picked up from my Dad, who buys a bouquet of flowers from our local grocery store when he does his weekly shopping.  I usually have a small bouquet of silk flowers in each room, including the bedrooms.  I place the fresh flowers in my gorgeous brass vase in the kitchen, and sometimes an extra bouquet in the dining room.

In 2018, the University of North Florida conducted a scientific study in conjunction with the Society of American Florists.  The study provides empirical evidence showing that flowers can reduce stress.  So, it’s no surprise that buying yourself flowers boosts your mood, especially when you come home from work and you can smell the fresh floral scents.

I wanted to share some tips on how I arrange my pretty – and reasonably priced flowers – with all of you (I can find beautiful flowers at Harris Teeters or your local market).  You don’t need to purchase expensive bouquets for everyday flowers, and still get the look of a professional floral designer.  Since it’s Spring (YAY!), we’re going to focus on making a beautiful and colorful Spring arrangement, so you know exactly how to make your momma, wife, or girlfriend a bouquet just in time for Mother’s Day.

What You’ll Need

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Step One:

 Place your vase on a flat surface.  For this arrangement, I chose a dark navy ceramic vase (approx. 18”) to give my arrangement a modern and sleek look.  Next, place your flower frog on top of the vase opening. If you use Easy Arranger’s flower frog, you can bend the outer parts of the flower from to hug the vase opening.

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Step Two:

First, add your peonies.  I chose beautiful pink peonies to distribute first. Your peony blooms she be open.  If not, use your fingers to help open the flowers.  Remove any outer petals that are worn or damaged. If you need to cut the stems, remember to cut at an angle.

Since I used the Easy Arranger flower frog, I also removed some of the leaves.

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Step Three:

 Next, add the roses and ranunculus in groups throughout the vase.  For my roses, I used off white / light peach cabbage english garden roses, and bright yellow ranunculus. Remove any leaves and/or outer blooms that are not appealing.  You should also remove any thorns, if present.  You can prep your roses with a knife or your garden shears. Again, remember to cut the stem at an angle.

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Step Four:

Then, add the sweet peas.

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Step Five:

Finally, continue to remove any worn or damaged petals from your arrangement.

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Voila!  Your first floral arrangement is complete and beautiful as ever.

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After you’ve completed your floral arrangement, be sure to maintain so that they last a little longer (and you get your money’s worth).

  • Change the vase water every other day.

  • Mist petals with spray bottle.

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Keeping Your Kitchen Counter Clean: 7 Tips on Styling Your Kitchen

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Keeping Your Kitchen Counter Clean

7 Tips on Styling Your Kitchen

Hi dolls! So, last week, I posted my latest DIY on a Dime project where I painted my kitchen tiles. The white ceramic tiles really brighten the entire space! Now that we’re getting ready for Spring, I wanted to share some quick tips on how I keep my kitchen counters decluttered.

I shared in my 31 Self-Care Habits for Successful Women that a major part of keeping peace in your home is trying to maintain an organized home. When I come home from work and need to cook, my kitchen counters are clutter free, clean and ready for its next meal. With everyone ramping up for spring cleaning, its the perfect time to share how I keep my kitchen counters organized.

 

1. Hang floating shelves on side of cabinet

This was so important for me in my small kitchen! I knew that after I finished painting the tile, I wanted to hang floating shelves on the side of my microwave and cabinets. It was “dead space” as nothing was there. I didn’t want to hang a picture there, because you wouldn’t really see it; so, it wouldn’t really be a focal point. The floating shelves are not only decorative but more importantly, functional. Your kitchen should be all about functionality because after all, it’s the heart of the home where your meals are being made while you spend time with your family.

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2. Display Dishware on Open Shelves

Now, if you’ve installed floating shelves, then you need to decorate! Put those pretty plates, wine glasses, or fancy mugs on display. I included a very small vase of roses that I picked up from Target years ago, just to get a little pop of color up there. I also like to display my seltzer waters, copper watering can and copper mule mugs.

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3. Use Vertical Storage (large utensils)

Most organizers and decor enthusiasts will tell you that you should also place your large utensils on display. But, in terms of decluttering, you don’t watch your spatulas and wooden spoons everywhere. Purchase a wall utensil organizer or place them into a large utensil holder like the one I’m using. This keeps all of your larger cooking utensils together and they are readily accessible as you’re cooking. If you are limited on counter space, then utilizing a wall utensil holder may be a better option.

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4. Move That Paper Towel Holder

Another space saver — purchasing an under cabinet paper towel holder! I didn’t think that this was such a big deal until I actually bought one from Amazon and now I have way more space in my coffee area. You can purchase my Umbra paper towel holder here.

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5. Give cookbooks a home

Display your cookbooks just as you would any other book in your home. They should be within reach (so kept in your kitchen). If you have floating shelves like me, place them there. You could also do narrow picture shelves and install them on the side of your kitchen cabinet. Or, if you have open shelving on your island, place them there. The point is that you are showcasing the books just as an interior designer would after remodeling your kitchen.

 

6. Have oils and cutting boards ready and in reach

Who knew that interior designers also recommending displaying your cooking oils?!? I have this marble cake display holder. The glass top cracked, but I didn’t want to throw away the beautiful marble base. So, I placed the marble base near the stove and displayed my olive oils and smudge bowl. Again, everything is about functionality. The oils are placed by the stove for easy access during cooking.

The same rule applies for showcasing cutting boards. Think of your wooden cutting board as an art piece that also functions as it brings warmth and texture into the space.

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7. Minimize Decorative Objects and Appliances

Since we are keeping our kitchen counters decluttered, we want to minimize the number of small appliances and decorative objects. The kitchen appliances that I use the most are my single cup coffee maker and my Vitamix because I make smoothies and sometimes recipes, like soups and purées. If you have the cabinet space, store away the crock pots, air fryers and toasters. If you use your toaster more than your blender for example, then store the blender and display the toaster. It’s all about simplicity.

In terms of decorative objects, I invested in a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer and OMG…I’m in love! Don’t worry, I’m working on some delicious baking recipes! I displayed my colorful pink (duh) mixer in the corner of my counter, where there was again “dead space.” In between my mixer and coffee maker, I leaned a small 11x14 picture frame under the kitchen window. So I’m bringing colorful art into the space without taking up too much counter top space.

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I hope these tips help in keeping your kitchen counters clutter free! If you have more tips on keeping a clutter free kitchen, leave your comments below.

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Shop my kitchen…

Vitamix (Macys) sold out. Similar here. | KitchenAid 5qt. Stand Mixer in Cranberry (Bed Bath Beyond) | Umbra Cappa Towel Holder (Amazon) | Gallant Pluck by Erin Armstrong (Artfully Walls) | White Dinner Plates (Home Goods). Similar here. | Copper Pitcher (Target) sold out. Similar here. | Copper Mugs (Home Goods). Similar here.

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DIY on a Dime: My New Kitchen Tile

I finally painted my kitchen tile! I procrastinated on this DIY project for the longest — mostly because my kitchen tile is glass tile and I was unsure how the final project would look once completed. I’m sooooo happy with how it turned out! This project was super easy and took one weekend only. I wish I did it two years ago when I first moved in. Better late than never!

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What You’ll Need:

  1. Blue painter’s tape;

  2. White Bristle Paintbrush for oil based paints;

  3. Foam paintbrush;

  4. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 White Water Baded Prime;

  5. Latex high-gloss paint and primer. I used Behr Premium Plus Interior Hi-Gloss Enamel in Ultra Pure White;

  6. TSP Cleaner; and,

  7. Microfiber Cleaning Rag.

 
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Step One: Clean Your Tile

First, pour 1/4 of a cup of the TSP cleaner into a bucket. Next, fill the bucket with warm water (I poured approximately one gallon). Take your microfiber cleaning rag and scrub the diluted cleaning solvent on the tile. If your tile is heavily stained, add more TSP solution to your bucket. This takes some good elbow greasing to remove actual kitchen grease and stains. Please allow the tile to dry before priming (I waited about 7 hours.)

 

Step Two: Prime Your Tile

I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 White Water Baded Primer. I only did one coat of primer. Please wait at least 24 hours before painting the tile. Make sure that you are also priming the grout!

When priming your tile, try to apply the primer moving the brush in one steady direction. Since I was painting over glass ceramic tile, moving the brush back and forth was causing brush strokes or lines to appear, very visibly. I noticed that when I applied the primer by moving the brush strokes in one direction, it reduced the appearance of brush strokes to the naked eye.

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Step Three: Paint Your Tile

Once your primer is dry, begin painting the tile. Again, you want to apply the paint with the bristle brush, moving in one direction, the same direction you applied the primer.

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Painting my ceramic tile took approximately two coats plus touch-ups on the grout.

While painting your tile, be sure that you are painting your grout. My tiles were originally brown with grey grout. So, it was very important that I painted the grout as well, to create a seamless look of white subway tile and white grout. For touch ups, I used a small sponge brush since the tip of the brush fit in the grout lines perfectly, without messing with the brush strokes on the tile itself.

 
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What do you guys think? Do you prefer the brown glass tile? I think the white subway look really brightened up the space and changed the energy of the room. I would love to know what you all think, so feel free to comment below!

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Small Spa Bathroom Makeover

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Small Bathroom Makeover

Spa at Home on a Budget

 

When I first bought my home, I hated my bathroom. I was mostly grumpy about how contemporary it is, given that I live in a 1920s historic “daylight” row house. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to spend tons of money remodeling a bathroom that was already remodeled, especially since this is just my first home — not my forever home. Still, I needed a bathroom that I would love, rather than loathe.

Now, these before pictures are misleading. The bathroom often felt dark and closed in because of the khaki color. Since I’m in a row house, there are no bathroom windows, only a skylight above. Also, (again, these before pictures are quite deceiving) the bathroom had poor lighting! On top of the khaki, the sconce above the wooden mirror gave really poor light. I never did my makeup or got dressed in here as a result.

Finally, there’s very little storage.

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How to Make Your Bathroom an Home Spa

 
  1. Apothecary Jars

    I LOVE apothecary jars. The look of apothecary jars is timeless and will never go out of style, even if you decide that you’re tired of the spa look and prefer something completely different in decor style, like bohemian. Apothecary jars are great for small storage like cotton balls, salts, etc. Put them on display in your bathroom.

 

2. Living Plants

Interior designers and decor enthusiasts would agree that your home should have living plants. They’re not just pretty, but they also purify the air in the room, providing bright colors and texture. Unless your bathroom has a lot of natural lighting from windows, choose a plant that needs low lighting for your bathroom. I found a cute little plant at Lowe’s, that needed low to moderate lighting. My bathroom only has a skylight above, so this was ideal.

 

3. Minimalism and Texture

If you can avoid it, do not junk up your bathroom! Take the Marie Kondo method and only keep in the space what is necessary. Your bathroom should be uncluttered and inviting. Other than your bedroom, it is a place for you to relax. So reduce the 10 different shampoos and conditioners on the shelf.

For texture, I found this adorable Magnolia for Target Hearth and Hand leather file organizer. It’s the perfect size to hold toilet paper rolls. The faux leather brings texture and warm color tones into the space, to compliment the warm tile and contrasting pool blue paint. So again, offering functionality, my toilet paper is on display and stored.

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4. Good Smells: Candles, Incense, Soaps and Essential Oils

I find aromatherapy one of the most important factors in creating a calming, spa like bathroom. Whether it’s soaps, bath salts or oils, you should have at least one of the three on hand in the room. I found these cute clear apothecary jars at Home Goods. I use them for bath salts and soaps.

I also found this gorgeous brushed nickel bar cart. I use if for displaying my soaps and salts. Since i’m in a historic row house, my main bath is also a guest bath. So, I wanted to make all of the soaps and salts easily accessible for when family comes to town and opt to use the jacuzzi tub.

 

5. Artwork

Display artwork that goes with the space. I wanted an art piece that was calming and simple, but also brought in the warm tones again. i found this awesome goddess piece, surrounded by palm leaves (that go with my mini plant) in gold and beige tones (playing off of the tile).

 

6. Great Lighting

If you look at the before pictures above, this bathroom did not have great lighting. It was so dim! I would never use the bathroom when i needed to apply makeup or do my hair. With the dark paint and dark lighting, it was not ideal. Now i have an entirely new mirror, that is much taller, giving the illusion that the space is larger; and, the lighting which is much brighter. Also, I chose wall sconce’s that would be close to the time period of the home. The initial lighting and mirror were too contemporary for the space. The only reason why I didn’t bother to knock out the contemporary bathroom tile and correct it with something more period friendly (white subway tile) is because this tile is brand spanking new considering I bought the house flipped. So, when you purchase a historic home, try not to overdue it with the remodeling by choosing fixtures that are “too contemporary" for the space. I think it sometimes diminishes the character of the home.

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7. Hardware

I think my seller just installed the cheapest hardware he could find. So, i invested in this shower head. Investing in a new shower head is worth the money. It can make a difference in reducing the stress and tension held in your muscles.

 
 

Shop my bathroom

 
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DIY on a Dime: Glamming my Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet

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DIY on a Dime

Glamming my Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet

This weekend, I found myself a little bored, itching to do a new project around the house. I wanted something pretty simple to share with everyone, while also not breaking the bank. So, I opted to hack my Ikea Hemnes shoe cabinet.

This Ikea Hemnes 4 Compartment shoe cabinet is only $100 on Ikea. It comes in dark brown / black, white and natural wood. I initially purchased the dark brown unit, thinking it would match my kitchen cabinets, not too far from the hallway foyer where the cabinet would take its residence.

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As you can see from the pictures, the cabinet looks a little boring, it’s monotone with matching knobs.

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What you’ll need:

  1. Ikea Hemnes Four Compartment Shoe Cabinet.

  2. Paint and primer. I used Behr Paint and Primer in one (high gloss) in Midnight Blue.

  3. 2.5” Angle Sash Brush for latex paint.

  4. Metallic Spray Paint. I used Rustoleum Metallic Gold.

  5. (4) Knobs. Mine are not available online. Similar here.

  6. DC Fix Decorative Self-Adhesive Film in Greay Marble

  7. DC Fix Film Applicator Kit

  8. Blue Painter’s Tape.

This project should only take one weekend, completing within two days and under $200 total.

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First, I painted the base of the cabinet. Since the Behr paint is paint and primer in one, I didn’t need to prime the cabinet first. However, if you select a paint product that does not have already built in primer, you will need to prime your cabinet FIRST. If you prime your cabinet first, allow the primer to dry for at least 24 hours before painting.

I only used two coats of the Behr paint, allowing time to dry in between each coat (approximately 8 hours because I just couldn’t wait anymore).

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Next, I lined blue painter’s tape with the base of the cabinet, creating a seamless line. Once the tape is in place, prime the legs and allow time to dry. Once dry, spray paint the legs with the gold spray paint.

Since my cabinet was already built, I also placed blue painters tape on the floor, around the leg, and placed a drop cloth around the cabinet so spray paint didn’t get everywhere.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I forgot to prime my legs while I was actually doing this project. Remember, my Behr paint is paint and primer in one, so I didn’t need to prime the actual cabinet. But, the spray paint is NOT paint and primer in one. Therefore, I ended up spray painting the cabinet legs at least five times before the paint finally took to the particle board wood. *eye roll*

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Next, measure the top of the cabinet. I measured approximately 44” long (left to right) and 10” wide (back to front). These measurements should add additional length to cover the side trim of the top of the cabinet.

Once you cut your adhesive film to the appropriate measurements, begin applying to the top of the shoe cabinet. Use the felt applicator to assist in applying the film flatly to the surface. The felt applicator also assists in smoothing bubbles.

 

Lastly, I added the gold knobs.

 

Now, you’re ready to style your cabinet! i used artwork, flowers, books and family pictures.

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Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral

Image courtesy of  Pantone .

Image courtesy of Pantone.

Drumroll please………..Pantone has selected “Living Coral” as their Color of the Year for 2019. Living Coral is a warm palette, compared to last year’s “Ultra Violet.” I am definitely feeling the warm nautic vibes from this color. I also love it because it’s so fresh and airy.

 

Butter London | French Connection Neve Links Sweater | NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Breaking Free Neon Coral | Chanel Classic Handbag in Coral

Living Coral seems like the perfect color to possibly pull into your home for a spring refresh [insert potential decorating plotting here! LOL]. When I think of pairing coral with complimentary colors, I think of cool blues and greens.

 

This posh coral and grey bedroom proves that Living Coral doesn’t have to be stereotyped as too feminine in terms of design.

Image courtesy of  Homedit .

Image courtesy of Homedit.

 

Mixing coral and navy pillows brings a nautical vibe to this living room.

Image courtesy of  Tracy Lynn Studio .

Image courtesy of Tracy Lynn Studio.

 

Pantone also says that pairing Living Coral with vibrant teals and yellows creates a joyful tropical space in your home.

Image courtesy of  Francis Dzikowski Photography .
 

But, if you’re not afraid of going all out with bold colors like Living Coral, designer Jamie Herzlinger does a fantastic job with this chinoiserie coral dining room, mixing it with neutral beige, black and white tones.

Image courtesy of  Jamie Herzlinger.

Image courtesy of Jamie Herzlinger.

 

I’ve even incorporated a little coral into my guest room, with this beautiful print by Elizabeth Mayville. You can also use other home decor accessories, like these old books I have in my collection as well.

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Now that you’re inspired, here are some great coral products to incorporate into your home this Spring!

 
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My 2019 Home Decor Resolutions

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Setting new reachable goals for my home.

  1. Style My Bookshelves

I have tons of books! In a perfect world, I’d own a huge 5,000 square foot home with a library to hold all of my hardcover and paperback treasures. But, until I hit the mega-millions, I have to make due with my space!

 

Quite honestly, I’m always nervous about putting too many books on my wall shelves, that are hung on each side of the fireplace and tv, creating a symmetrical look. I’ve displayed some of my favorites with pictures and chinoiserie vases. But, I still feel like they could use a revamping and a new look. So, re-styling all of the shelves in my living room is definitely on my to do list this year.

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2. Finish Hanging Artwork

I’ve been to ten countries so far, and each time, I try to remember to find a really cool area where local artists display their work on the streets, for tourists to spend all of their money. Out of the ten places that I’ve been to, I’ve only hung FIVE of my paintings (*insert hand on forehead emoji here*)! I realize that for some silly reason, I’m indecisive on finding the perfect picture frame. These paintings are always a great talking point when entertaining in my home, reminiscing on where I’d been and how I magically lucked up on each artwork. I am ashamed to say that the unframed pieces are neatly rolled up, tucked away in a corner of the dining room, and I simply unroll them to show to friends and family when they visit. They are such beautiful paintings, that I have yet to display, and they each deserve their spotlight on my gallery wall.

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3. DIY Projects

I absolutely HATE my kitchen. I have a few DIY projects that I’d like to tackle, but my kitchen is definitely one of them. My kitchen is very small, so, with dark cherry shaker cabinets and matching brown glass tile, it feels even smaller. I’m hoping to find ways to brighten this space and turn it into the (small) kitchen of my dreams.

 

4. Create a Luxurious Space for Entertaining

Thanks to the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, i have these amazing posters replicating the official portraits of First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald, and President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley. My dining room is bright and colorful but I want it to feel luxurious. Creating a luxurious dining room that is still inviting for entertaining and hosting will bring more use out of the least used space in my home.

 

5. Organize! Organize! Organize!

Lastly, I have a lot of organizing and decluttering to do, thanks to watching Netflix’s Tidying Up! My pre-war “daylight row house” has a tiny closet in each bedroom. As you can see from the picture, I have so many dresses hanging that the actual clothing rod is bending towards the center. Sigh. This is just my winter clothes, babes. The show (and book) is great inspiration to get my juices going and organize everything. From my closets, to the pantry and the fridge. It’s time to declutter and purge what’s no longer useful.

 
 

What kind of projects do you intend to tackle in this new year?